Beto O’Rourke, who has been considering a possible run for Greg Abbott’s current seat without revealing any plans yet, recently commented on the also potential run of Texan actor Matthew McConaughey.
The actor, who has never clearly stated his political beliefs or defined himself as a Democrat or Republican, has appeared higher than Abbott in recent polls. O’Rourke suggests that McConaughey’s high popularity in the polls could be a consequence of the political ambiguity with which he has conducted himself so far.
“He’s a really popular figure whose political views have not in any way been fixed,” O’Rourke said. “I don’t know, for example, who he voted for in the most consequential election since 1864 in this country. I don’t know how he feels about any of the issues that we’ve brought up. … So I think that might explain part of [the polling].”
During an interview at the 2021 Texas Tribune Festival, the former Democratic U.S. representative from El Paso praised McConaughey for using his star power to help Texas, including after the 2019 mass shooting in O’Rourke’s hometown of El Paso.
Recent polling indicates that McConaughey is a stronger challenger to Abbott than O’Rourke; a poll from the Dallas Morning News released Sunday showed the actor leading incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott by 9 points, while O’Rourke trails Abbott by 5 points.
“It’s just, I’m more of a folk singin’, philosopher, poet-statesman than I am a per-se definitive politician,” McConaughey said. “So I go, ‘Well that’s a reason not to,’ but then I go, ‘Oh, well that’s exactly why you should. Because politics needs redefinition.'”